Nintendo and Microsoft Introducing Subscription Plans for Gaming

Nintendo Classic Game Selection, Xbox Game Pass, subscription service, console game downloads, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft
Several of the games available through Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service for downloading games for offline play

What is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is an online library of over one hundred downloadable games that Microsoft has been steadily adding its published games to. Certain third-party titles are also available. Notably, the library includes not only Xbox 360 titles, but also more current Xbox One games as well.

Microsoft promises the games playable at their full original glory courtesy of the lack of streaming or connectivity issues. Subscribers also get discounts on games they download from the service but want to fully purchase or buy downloadable content for, but according to the official site, “only while the base game is currently in the catalog.” No discounts are offered for Xbox 360 games.

The service is an additional $10 a month on top of the existing fee for Xbox Live Gold, but a two-week trial is offered for the curious. Official details are here.

What is Nintendo’s Classic Game Selection?

Although the name could change, Nintendo’s Classic Game Selection is only available through the Switch’s paid online service, which will fully debut in 2018 (although online play on the console is currently free). The service lets users download a “compilation of classic titles” (so far, only NES titles have been mentioned), but with the added feature of online play available for them. Nintendo will be letting on more about its Classic Game Selection and Switch Online service here.

The service is not a replacement for the Virtual Console.

What could this mean for gaming?

From a business perspective, subscription services for other media (such as Netflix and Hulu Plus) have shown to be hugely successful, and the move into this model is granting comparisons of Xbox Game Pass and Classic Game Selection to Netflix. Many gamers would say it's high time the move happened.

Personally, I think it’s just about the same thing as a console version of Steam (even though Steam isn't subscription-based). It looks like users essentially install games on their consoles just like a computer and pay for the rights to play them, which also brings music subscription services to mind.

Some are also noticing that this is one of the few times that Nintendo has actually listened to its fanbase. When Nintendo first unveiled its plans for the service, it offered a single NES or SNES game every month free of charge (with online play). Players would have to buy the game if they wanted it after the free month was over.

Many gamers voiced their disappointment with this deal online, and Nintendo actually paid attention by changing their business model to its current service. With the NES Classic being hugely successful, it seems that Nintendo is on the track to making sure its retro games are available to its fanbase in one way or another.

Is Xbox Game Pass worth it to you? Are you looking forward to Nintendo’s counterpart? All these games from throughout gaming history being available so easily is something many would’ve dreamed of barely twenty years ago, but it can definitely satisfy a huge audience now that it’s happening.

You may also be interested in:

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The Xbox One and PS4 Exclusives that Need To Be on PC

I'm not really a Hex Girl, so I play in my own goth band instead. Aside from music and gaming, I write films and comics, and develop my own cartoon. Lollipop Chainsaw is underrated and misunderstood!
Currently Playing: Pokémon Moon, Age of Empires II: HD Edition, Rocksmith 2014
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Team Fortress 2,
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